Date of Release: Sunday April 22, 2007
Reference: Suicidal Subject
On Sunday April 22, 2007 at approx. 1555hrs. the Portsmouth Police received information from the Amesbury Mass Police about a suicidal subject reported to be armed with a handgun that was en route to the Portsmouth Hospital. This man made several threats of finding a police officer and to force this police officer to kill him. This is commonly referred to as “suicide by cop”. Portsmouth Police Officers were immediately deployed along the routes to the hospital, the hospital supervisor was notified of this potential threat and Portsmouth Police were stationed at the hospital entrances as an added level of security.
Officer Andre Wassouf intercepted this man who was driving his truck along Borthwick Ave and applied his emergency blue lights to conduct a traffic stop. Upon the man stopping his truck for Officer Wassouf, this man immediately got out of his truck, wildly opening his truck door and quickly approached the officer telling the Officer “kill me, kill me, I want to die”. He told Officer Wassouf that he had a handgun on him and would use it. Officer Wassouf, soon to be assisted by Officers Kozlowski, Outhouse, Stacy, Widerstrom, Keaveny and K-9 Handler Scott Pearl displayed incredible restraint in the face of extreme danger and was able to talk with this man and convince him that he should submit to a peaceful surrender. This despondent man pleaded and taunted the officers to kill him over and over again but in the end he submitted to Officer Wassoufs verbal efforts to seek out psychiatric treatment. The Officers on scene broke the mans determination to die.
This man was transported to the Portsmouth Hospital for an evaluation and psychiatric care. There was no gun located on his person or within the truck. There are no injuries reported. The mans name will not be released as this is currently being treated as a medical matter.
Released by Capt. David Ferland for Chief Michael J. Magnant
Media contact info phone number for questions is 603-610-7406 (Shift Commander)